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How to Make Money on Twitch in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

How to Make Money on Twitch in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

If you love gaming, you probably want to know how to make money on Twitch.

Especially as you might’ve heard that the most-followed Twitch streamers make a whopping seven figures per year — like Tyler Blevins (AKA ‘Ninja’), who reportedly earned $1 million for a few hours of gaming as part of EA’s Apex Legends launch.

With this in mind, it’s got to be possible for you to earn a few bucks from your streams, right?

Still, you’re probably wondering, how do Twitch streamers make money? And how exactly can you earn money on Twitch?

In this guide, you’ll learn about the 10 different ways to make money streaming. And stick around until the end to get tips on how to build an audience on Twitch.

Let’s dive in.


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How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?

Streamers earn money on Twitch through crowdfunded subscriptions, viewer donations, and ‘Twitch Bits’ (another form of viewer donation). They also make money from ads, brand sponsorships, affiliate marketing, merchandise, and game sales. Plus, some Twitch streamers also generate revenue from YouTube videos and crowdfunding on Patreon.

  1. Donations
  2. YouTube
  3. Patreon
  4. Affiliate marketing
  5. Brand sponsorships
  6. Merchandise
  7. Subscriptions
  8. Twitch Bits
  9. Game sales
  10. Ad revenue

When Does Twitch Pay You?

Once you figure out how to make money on Twitch, the platform will pay you every 15 days if your account balance is more than $100.

How to Make Money on Twitch Without Being a Partner

Let me give it to you straight: If you’ve just started streaming, it can be incredibly difficult to earn money on Twitch.

For starters, you can’t make money from subscriptions, Twitch Bits, game sales, or ads until you become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner. Plus, it’s virtually impossible to make money from sponsorships or merchandise until you have a large following.

However, if you want to know how to make money on Twitch without being a Partner, there are 4 ways to get started while you grow your following:

  • Donations
  • Patreon
  • YouTube
  • Affiliate marketing

Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Donations

Many Twitch users like to support their favorite streamers by donating money (or ‘tips’). And although you can’t accept Twitch Bits until you’re an Affiliate or Partner, you can accept donations through a third-party service.

You can start collecting donations by adding a “Donate” button to your channel with services like PayPal, Streamlabs, Muxy, or Donorbox.

How to Make Money on Twitch: Muxy

There are two main ways to make it easier for viewers to donate:

  • Add a donate panel in your profile’s ‘About Me’ section.
  • Promote your donation link in the chat with a service like Nightbot or Moobot.

You can also incentivize viewers to donate by ‘selling’ in-stream services.

For example, if you’re a musician, you could take song requests from donors. Or, if you play first-person shooter games, you could offer to drop your armor for a limited time to make the game more interesting.

YouTube

By uploading the best parts of your streams to a YouTube channel, it’s possible to start earning a little money from YouTube ads.

For example, you could upload game compilations, interesting or funny clips from your streams, or even new content.

Just like Twitch, it can be pretty challenging to make money on YouTube. However, uploading videos to YouTube has another key benefit: it’s a great way to attract new followers to your Twitch streams.

Why?

Well, Twitch doesn’t offer streamers many ways to attract new viewers. However, YouTube has comprehensive search features, related video suggestions, and even personal recommendations for viewers.

This is why all top Twitch streamers also share regularly on YouTube. For instance, the popular Twitch streamer Ludwig Ahgren posts a new YouTube video every day:

How to Make Money on Twitch: Ludwig Ahgren YouTube

Patreon

Figuring out how to make money on Twitch is tough when you don’t have many followers. Plus, you can’t take advantage of Twitch subscriptions until you become an Affiliate.

However, if you have a few regular viewers who love your streams, you can incentivize them to donate money to you each month on Patreon in exchange for rewards that you create.

For instance, you could offer exclusive video content for patrons or share top gaming tips and tricks.

How to Make Money on Twitch: Patreon

Make sure to add a link to your Patreon page in your Twitch profile description and promote your Patreon rewards to viewers during streams.

Affiliate Marketing

Another great way to earn money on Twitch without being a Partner is to share affiliate links (which is not to be confused with becoming a Twitch Affiliate).

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting offers online and receiving a fee or commission on everything you help to sell.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Amazon Associates is probably the most common way that streamers make money with affiliate marketing. This program allows you to link to products on Amazon and get a cut of any purchases your viewers make.

Other affiliate programs popular with Twitch streamers include Play Asia and LootCrate.

To get started with Amazon, set up the Amazon Blacksmith extension. Many Twitch streamers use this extension to promote links to the gear they use:

How to Earn Money on Twitch: Amazon Blacksmith Extension

To increase your income, promote your affiliate links in your social media profiles, within the chat using a chatbot, and during streams.

How to Earn Money on Twitch with a Regular Audience

Once you’ve built up a regular audience, it’ll be easier to make money on Twitch using the methods outlined above. Plus, it’s possible to make a little extra money in two more ways:

  • Brand sponsorships
  • Merchandise

Brand Sponsorships

You don’t need to be a Twitch Affiliate or Partner to land sponsorship deals (although that would help) — all you do need to have a relatively large engaged audience that brands will want to reach.

You can promote all sorts of brands and products to your Twitch audience, too — from gaming hardware and fashion brands to drinks and musical instruments.

Brands typically reach out to streamers they want to work with, but there’s nothing stopping you from pitching brands directly.

You may also want to check out services that set up sponsorship deals between brands and streamers, such as PowerSpike and HelloGamers.

How to Get Paid on Twitch: Powerspike

Merchandise

When you have an engaged fanbase, some of your viewers might purchase the merchandise you create, such as t-shirts, stickers, mugs, and laptop cases.

For example, the popular streamer Ninja sells branded hoodies to his audience:

How to Make Money Streaming on Twitch: Ninja’s Merchandise

To sell branded merchandise, set up a Shopify store and use a print-on-demand app like Printify or Printful. As a bonus, by using a Shopify store, you can also make money dropshipping with Oberlo.

Use a tool like Hatchful or Canva to create designs or hire a designer on a platform like Fiverr or Upwork.

How to Get Paid on Twitch as an Affiliate

To become a Twitch Affiliate, you need to meet a specific set of criteria — you must have:

  • At least 50 followers
  • Broadcasted a total of 500 minutes over the last 30 days
  • Broadcasted on at least 7 unique days
  • An average of 3 or more concurrent viewers

How to Get Money From Twitch: Become a Twitch Affiliate

When you become a Twitch Affiliate you gain access to 3 additional forms of monetization:

  • Subscriptions
  • Twitch bits
  • Game sales

Subscriptions

Twitch allows viewers to subscribe to their favorite Affiliates and access exclusive perks for a monthly fee.

Typically, subscription perks include exclusive chat rooms, subscriber-only streams, unique emoticons, and merchandise discounts.

There are three subscription tiers available: $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month.

The best part? Twitch Affiliates earn 50% of this month (with the other half going to Twitch). As a result, subscriptions are often streamers’ most significant and steady form of income.

How to Make Money Off Twitch: Subscriptions

Twitch Bits

Once you’re a Twitch Affiliate, you’ll be able to accept donations directly through the platform in the form of Twitch Bits.

Viewers can purchase Bits or earn them by watching ads or filling out surveys. Bits come in different sizes and colors.

How to Make Money on Twitch: Bits

Bits are essentially virtual cheers or tips — viewers give them to streamers in the chat when they enjoy the stream and want to support the creator.

Twitch Affiliates receive $0.01 for every bit given to them. This might not sound like much, but it can add up over time as your viewership grows.

Game Sales

As a Twitch Affiliate, you can earn money from selling games on your channel.

All you need to do is stream yourself playing a game that’s available in the Twitch store. Then, your profile will automatically display a “Buy Now” button that allows viewers to purchase the game and in-game add-ons.

Twitch Affiliates receive 5% of game sales purchased through their channel — so make sure to promote games you love!

How to Make Money on Twitch as a Partner

If you become a top-performing Twitch Affiliate, you can apply to join the Twitch Partner Program.

Twitch Partners receive all the same benefits as Affiliates, with one addition: Partners also receive a share of the ad revenue generated from their streams.

Twitch Ads

Pre-roll ads are shown on Twitch before viewers can join a stream. Plus, Partners can trigger mid-roll ads during a stream whenever they like — for example, many Partners show ads when they take a bathroom break or grab something to eat.

How much do Twitch streamers make from ads?

Twitch ads are typically worth between $0.002 and $0.01 per view depending on various factors, such as the:

  • Number of concurrent viewers
  • Viewers’ geolocations
  • Viewers’ genders and ages
  • Game being streamed
  • Seasonality (for example, ads are typically worth more during the holidays)

To give you an idea of how much this is, if you were to earn $0.007 with 1,000 viewers, you would make $7.

So, ads typically aren’t the most profitable way to earn money on Twitch, but if you have an enormous amount of viewers, the money can add up!

How to Build an Audience on Twitch

If you really want to know how to make money on Twitch, it all comes down to this: grow a sizable audience.

Let me be honest: This takes an enormous amount of time and work — and even then, success is far from guaranteed.

Still, how can you build a community and increase your Twitch viewership? Here are 4 best practices to follow.

1. Find Your Niche

To attract attention, you need a way to stand out from the crowd. So, look for ways to carve out a niche for yourself.

For example, perhaps you become an expert at a new game that’s growing in popularity. Or maybe you’re not the best gamer, but you’re witty and fun.

2. Build a Following on Other Social Media Accounts

Compared to many social media platforms, Twitch offers very few ways to promote your streams. So, venture out to other platforms to build an audience.

For example, you could build your audience on YouTube or grow an Instagram following. Then you can promote your Twitch streams to your followers.

Take Real Summit1g — he often shares stream highlights on his Instagram account:

How to Earn Money on Twitch: Real Summit 1g

3. Network with Other Streamers

Networking and supporting other ambitious and popular streamers is a great way to generate new opportunities.

For instance, if you engage with another streamer and are active in their chat, the streamer and their viewers may visit your channel and follow you.

Plus, if you build friendships with other streamers you can plug each other’s channels and host each other. This will help cross-pollinate your audiences and attract new viewers.

4. Engage Viewers

Whenever a new viewer joins your stream, you have a golden opportunity to convert them into a true fan who’ll subscribe and promote your stream to their friends.

So, engage them in every way you can.

Ask viewers questions, respond to chat comments, crack jokes — ultimately, create highly entertaining content to get viewers to tune in regularly.

Summary: How to Make Money on Twitch

Making money on Twitch is challenging. However, with hard work and dedication over time, it’s possible to earn some money from your streams.

If you want to know how to make money on Twitch, here are 10 ways to do it:

  1. Collect donations using third-party services like PayPal and DonorBox
  2. Create and share stream clips on YouTube to earn money from YouTube ads
  3. Incentivize viewers to become ‘Patreons’ by offering rewards
  4. Earn more by promoting affiliate links
  5. Partner with brands to make money from influencer marketing
  6. Sell print-on-demand merchandise
  7. Grow your Twitch subscriptions
  8. Encourage viewers to give you Twitch Bits
  9. Promote games to earn money from game sales
  10. Collect money from Twitch ads if you become a Partner

When considering how to make money streaming on Twitch, remember that top streamers regularly create content on other platforms to grow their viewership. They also work hard to create entertaining streams and build a community.

What type of content do you create on Twitch? Let us know in the comments below!

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